A lot of people have been asking me on Twitter, Discord, Facebook, etc, whether they should be using GitHub Actions and why choosing it over other services. So I’ve decided to put together 5 of the most important reasons why I think GitHub Actions is a great service.
As usual, if you are a visual learner, or simply prefer to watch and listen instead of reading, here you have the video with the whole explanation,:
Link to the video: https://youtu.be/vNb-NAogQUc
If you rather prefer reading, well... let's just continue :)
Anyway, why use GitHub Actions? Well, first reason is Automation.
GitHub Actions can automate your workflow, allowing you to build, test, and deploy your code right from GitHub. This can save you a lot of time and effort. For example, you can use GitHub Actions to automatically build and test your code every time you push a commit to GitHub. This ensures that your code is always up-to-date and working as expected.
But it doesn’t stop here. As you may have heard me saying already, you can also use GitHub Actions to automate other tasks, such as sending notifications, running scripts, managing pull requests and issues, and much more.
I have a whole video about automating stuff with Actions, you have the link up here and in the video description.
Second reason to use the service is Customization.
GitHub Actions are highly customizable. You can create your own actions or use actions from the GitHub Marketplace to build workflows that meet your specific needs. For example, you can use a pre-built action to deploy your code to a specific cloud provider.
Or you can create your own action to run a custom test suite. You can also use environment variables and secrets to customize your workflows even further. If you can think about it, you can do it. There is no limit with GitHub Actions!
Oh btw, let me know in the comments if you want me to cover the creation of custom actions in a future article/video.
Another reason to use GitHub Actions, the third one, is Integration.
GitHub Actions integrates seamlessly with other GitHub features, such as pull requests and issues. This makes it easy to manage your entire workflow in one place. For example, you can use GitHub Actions to automatically build and test your code whenever a pull request is opened.
This ensures that your code is always tested before it’s merged into your main branch. You can also use GitHub Actions to automatically close issues or assign them to specific team members.
Furthermore, Actions integrate with the major cloud providers, including Azure, AWS and GCP, and most of the common DevOps and work management tools like Jira, Service Now, Slack, etc, and you can use it even if your code is not in GitHub (like if you are using, for example, GitLab, Azure DevOps, Jenkins, etc)
Fourth reason to use GitHub Action? The Community.
GitHub Actions has a large and active community. And this is a double advantage.
You can find many pre-built actions in the GitHub Marketplace, and you can also share your own actions with the community. This makes it easy to find and use actions that meet your specific needs. You can also contribute to the community by creating your own actions or improving existing ones.
As I’ve mentioned there is a second advantage to the large community behind GitHub Actions: the support. You can literally find thousands and thousands of people who have either experienced already your pain points and challenges, and so you have the solutions arleady ready, or you can ask in forums like Stack Overflow or GitHub’s own portal “GitHub Community” and have the answers to your questions in literally minutes.
And if you need one more reason to use GitHub Actions, the fifth and last one of this video, that would be Cost. Or, better, lack thereof*.*
GitHub Actions, in fact, is free for public repositories, and you get 2,000 free minutes of build time per month for private repositories. This makes it an affordable option for developers of all sizes. If you need more build time, you can purchase additional minutes at a reasonable price. You can also use self-hosted runners to run your workflows on your own infrastructure.
Let me know in the comments if you have other important reasons why you think someone should use GitHub Actions and, if you want to know more about the service, check out my complete 1 and a half our GitHub Actions course.
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